Thursday, August 30, 2007
1. I cheered from 8th-12th grade and was extremely, annoyingly peppy. My friends even named a move after me to pick on my overzealousness - "The Marishannon." It was requested quite often...
2. I can only drink ice cold water, anything else makes me want to hurl (just what you want to hear on a food blog huh).
3. My favorite color is pink but my favorite color to wear is blue.
4. I used to have a cat named Tiger (but I renamed it Simba after I saw the Lion King but denied the reason why when my sister accused me of copying the movie). I would put the cat in a high chair, feed it out of a baby spoon, ride it around in a stroller, and swing with it in my shirt pocket. It did all these things and more willingly. I miss my kitty...
5. I disliked Justin until about 3 years ago. Why you ask? Because in elementary and middle school there was a program called ACCENT for the "smart" kids and we were the only two kids from our grade in it (well in 3rd and 4th grade anyway). And I wanted to be the only one. He used to tell me he only got in by one point to make me feel better. But yes...I held a grudge since I was about 8 years old :)
6. I am scared of large dogs...and medium sized dogs...and yappy dogs...and strange dogs...and most dogs (except for my sister's overgrown 90 lb boxer/great dane)
7. I sleep with the light on most of the time when I am by myself - I am a big scaredy cat.
8. I am going to New York in January. It will be my first time on an airplane. I am not scared by the actual flight - I am scared by the thought of finding the right terminal, getting there on time, having what I need, and losing my luggage. Actually, I am not scared of losing my luggage. Just finding it.
So those are the "fun facts" I could think of. I am tagging:
Monday, August 20, 2007
Black Bean Smash
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 large or 1 small white onion, chopped
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp evoo
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- pinch of kosher salt
- chicken broth (optional)
Add half can of black beans to the pan, combine with onions and garlic, and smash with back of fork or potato masher.
Add rest of beans, along with seasonings. Mix well and heat. This last time I made them I kept adding a chicken broth a little at a time (tbsp or so) so they wouldn't dry out as I finished dinner. I liked the end result.
I served the black beans with Cilantro Turkey Burgers from Cooking Light. Yes I served the burgers with the black beans, not the other way around, because I am in love with black beans and they are the best part to me. I love how these burgers taste and they are very juicy. I make them just like the recipe, only I don't serve them with the ketchup; Justin doesn't want to try it. We just melt monterey jack cheese over it and serve it on nicely toasted buns.
I also made roasted red potatoes to go with the burgers. Just chop the potatoes into chuncks, toss with evoo and some sort of seasoning, and roast at 400 for 20-30 minutes. This time I sprinkled them with cumin and chili powder.
- 15 jumbo shells, cooked according to directions and drained
- 2 chicken breasts (mine were about 4-5 oz each) boiled and shredded
- 7 1/2 oz ricotta cheese
- 4 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- couple shakes of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups marinara sauce (that's about what I had left, you can use more if you have it)
Heat oven to 400 and spray baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix together all ingredients from shredded chicken to salt and pepper.
Spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of baking dish.
Fill cooked shells with chicken mixture and place filled side up in baking dish. Pour rest of sauce over shells. Sprinkle extra cheese on if desired.
Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, removing foil last 5 minutes.
P.S. I really liked the flavor these had and will keep making them this way.
P.P.S. The original recipe I used for stuffed shells can be found on Amber's blog; that recipe is how I learned how to make stuffed shells.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
- 1/2 pound ground turkey
- 2/3 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ketchup plus more for top
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian-style seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp parmesean cheese
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Press into two mini loaf pans or shape into two loaf shapes on a baking sheet. Spread extra ketchup on top.
Bake for 30 minutes.
(have I mentioned I love my teeny tiny loaf pans)
To go along with the meatloaf I sauteed some green beans. I would like to tell you how much...but I have no clue. Let's just say it was enough for us.
This is how I did it. I originally got these instructions from this recipe on Recipezaar.com. I do different seasonings depending on what I am making, but sauteeing is my favorite way to prepare green beans.
- Bring a large sauté pan of water to a rapid boil and add the beans.
- Simmer until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
- Drain well and return to the saucepan.
- Lightly coat with evoo and italian seasoning.
- Sauté, tossing frequently, for about 1 minute more. (I actually do this until a few sides get brown and crispy)
- Serve at once.
So I wanted to serve this meal with some yummy garlic mashed potatoes (this is supposed to be comfort food right?), but Justin had other plans.
See that yellow blob on the plate? That's right. We had the blue box: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Justin wanted mac 'n cheese, but he didn't want homemade mac 'n cheese. Now there is nothing wrong with the blue box. It's just that I prefer to eat homemade and I am really trying to limit the chemicals we take in from our food. And chemicals this has. When I opened up the powder packet to add to the noodles I was taken back by the unnatural orange color of the "cheese" (that I should have gotten a picture of). The things we do for those we love...
But, alas, I must admit I enjoyed my meal, all of it.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp coconut extract
- 1 large black plantain
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup white flour
Step 1: Mix everything together (you don't even have to mash the plantain first if you don't want to).
Step 2: Pour into 12 prepared muffin tins and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Step 3: Enjoy :)
P.S. These were better than regular ol' banana bread anyday!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tblsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 cups peeled shredded pears (I used two large pears)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- dash of nutmeg (still not sure why I did that...)
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the bowl.
In a separate bowl combine the oil, eggs, sugar, grated pears, and vanilla. Blend well. Add to well of dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened.
Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x5x3 inch loaf pans. (I actually used one loaf pan, unsure of the exact size, and two mini loaf pans)
Bake in a preheated 325 degree F (165 degrees C) oven for one hour and 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack before removing from the loaf pans. (time varies, watch closely after about an hour)
The first thing I ever made with spinach was stuffed chicken. And Thursday night, that's how I prepared my leafy green vegetable. Last time I had made spinach stuffed chicken, the filling had ricotta cheese in it. I had also thought about mixing it with feta cheese, but since I was already making au gratin potatoes, I didn't want to have cheese in the chicken, too. So I went with something simple, as usual, and put together what seemed right to me.
- 4 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 3 oz plain yogurt
- 1 tsp garlic powder (approximately)
- dash of ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (mine were about 4-5 oz each)
Preheat oven to 375.
Mix together first five ingredients.
Put each piece of chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until 1/4" thick. Justin actually does this step for me and uses a small cast iron skillet.
Divide mixture evenly between pieces of chicken, spreading evenly over entire breast. Roll each piece up, jelly-roll style, and place seam side down in a baking dish and place in the oven for 45 minutes.I told you it was simple. Despite the minimal ingredients, this chicken was great and the filling would be a great base to add more yummy things to. The only thing Justin told me about this chicken, other than it was really good, was that this was the last time we were having spinach for awhile. That was the third night in a row that dinner had consisted of chicken and spinach, and he does not want to get kidney stones. Now this knowledge of spinach causing kidney stones does not come from any medical background, but from an episode of Reba where Brock gets kidney stones from eating too much spinach. Of course, spinach does contain large amounts of oxalate which reduce the body's ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney stones. Blah, blah, blah...
Friday, August 17, 2007
So I have conquered my fear and given into my urges. But this will be good for me. I often forget what foods I cooked that Justin, my not-so-picky husband, and I liked, so I will now have a place to keep track of all my hits and misses. I am also hoping to give encouragement to new cooks and share a few yummy recipes with others (oh please, somebody, like my food...)
I am by no means a gourmet chef. I am learning. I have always been a picky eater growing up and I am trying to (slowly) change that. Despite my lack of a vast foodie knowledge, I enjoy cooking. And more importantly - I enjoy eating!
(Oh, and those pictures I've been taking? Those will be my posts for awhile!)